Game Rules

Format & Game Overview

  1. Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a question and answer game played between two teams of three players each.

  2. The game is played in four rounds. 

  3. The first three rounds are called Face-Off rounds. In each of these rounds, there are two types of questions: Face-Offs, worth 10 points each and Bonuses, worth 20 points.

  4. The fourth round is called the Ultimate Challenge. Each team gets a turn to play the Ultimate Challenge and has 60 seconds to answer 10 questions in the category of its choice. Each correct answer is worth 25 points, for a total of 250 points.  

  5. Each round has a category board with four categories. Teams are given the category names and descriptions for all four rounds before the game begins.

  6. Before the start of the game a coin is tossed to determine which team will select the category for the first Face-Off question. In rounds 2 and 3, the player whose team is behind selects the first category for the round.

  7. In each Face-Off round, there are four categories.  In each category there are three Face-Off questions. Each Face-Off question has a related Bonus question.

  8. In each of the three Face-Off rounds, a different player represents the team answering Face-Off questions. That player is the only one who may answer Face-Off questions for his or her team.

  9. The last player to correctly answer a Face-Off question selects the category for the next Face-Off question.

  10. On Face-Off questions, after the entire question is read, the first player to signal answers (Face-Off questions may not be interrupted).

  11. If a Face-Off question is answered correctly, the team confers on the Bonus question.

  12. If a Face-Off question is answered incorrectly, the player representing the opposing team gets a chance to answer the Face-Off question. 

  13. Each Face-Off round lasts four minutes or until no Face-Off questions remain. When the four-minute timer reaches zero, if a category has been chosen, the Face-Off/Bonus pair is played.

  14. At the end of the three Face-Off rounds the teams play the Ultimate Challenge round. The team that’s behind goes first. If there’s a tie, there is a coin toss and the team that wins decides if it wants to go first or last.    

  15. In the Ultimate Challenge round, there are four categories from which to choose. When it’s a team’s turn to play, the players confer and select the category. Once a category is selected it is no longer available.

  16. In the Ultimate Challenge round, each team has 60 seconds to answer 10 questions. The questions are read rapid-fire, one after the other. Team members may confer on answers.  Any team member may answer, however it is advised that one member of the team be designated as responder.  The first answer heard by the moderator is the one that will be accepted.  If multiple answers are given, the moderator will evaluate only the first answer heard (and will not indicate which answer was evaluated).   Teams may pass on any question.  As long as there is time remaining, questions which were missed or passed will recycle in order.  NOTE: In instances where only one question remains, players must still wait for the moderator to say YES or NO before giving another answer.

  17. In the Ultimate Challenge round, if the team answers all 10 questions correctly it scores 250 points. Even if the first team to play the Ultimate Challenge does not take the lead in the game, the second team plays the Ultimate Challenge.

  18. The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the Ultimate Challenge round wins the game.

Game Procedures

  1. The answers provided by Honda Campus All-Star Challenge are the official answers. The underlined information is considered the minimum needed for a correct response.

  2. At the end of the game, the Scorekeeper verifies the score and it is declared official.

  3. If the score is tied at the end of the game, the tie is broken by a sudden-death play-off of Face-Off questions with a player selected by each team to play the tie-breaker for them.  The first correct answer scores 10 points and wins the game.

Answering Face-Offs

  1. On Face-Offs, players signal and are recognized before beginning their answer. Once a player has been recognized, s/he must immediately begin their answer. Answers given prior to being recognized will be considered incorrect and the question is turned over to the other player. Face-Offs may not be interrupted and if using a lockout system, the lockout system must not be activated until the last word of the question.  NOTE: Players are not permitted to repeatedly buzz in rapid succession towards the end of a Face-Off question.  Player(s) may be warned by the moderator.  At the moderator's discretion, a player who repeatedly abuses this tactic may be disqualified from answering a Face-Off.

  2. After the moderator completes the reading of the question, the lockout signal system is activated and the players are given approximately 3 seconds to signal and must answer immediately once they are recognized.

  3. A correct answer on a Face-Off question scores 10 points. If the answer is incorrect, the question is turned over to the player on the other team. On a turnover, players are NOT required to signal OR be recognized prior to giving an answer.

  4. Every time a player answers a Face-Off question correctly, their team, and their team only, gets the chance to answer a Bonus question.

  5. If a player does not answer immediately, a game official calls “time.” An answer given after time is called does not count.  Where applicable, the question is turned over to the player on the other team.

  6. If a player confers with a teammate on a Face-Off question, the answer is disqualified, even if it was correct.  Where applicable, the question is turned over.

Answering Bonuses

  1. A team earns the chance to answer a Bonus question after its team member correctly answers a Face-Off.

  2. On Bonus questions, after each part of a Bonus question is read, all team members should confer (Bonus questions may not be interrupted). If there are conflicting answers, the player in the center position must speak for the team.  That player may designate (verbally or with a gesture) another player to answer.  The moderator will take the first clear answer obviously directed toward him/her, so teams should be sure that they agree on their response before anyone gives an answer.

  3. The team is given five seconds to confer on each part of a Bonus. The moderator will allow for a natural pause but no stalling. Once the moderator has prompted for an answer (“Answer please”), the team must begin the answer immediately.

Acceptable Answers

  1. The correct answer and acceptable alternatives are given to the moderator.  The necessary information is underlined. The moderator will determine if the player has given clear and precise knowledge of the information requested, or if the player is just guessing in an effort to hit the required answer.

  2. Answers which show clear and precise knowledge will be judged correct. For example, if a question lists famous guitarists and the given answer is "guitar", then "guitars" and "guitarist" or "guitarists" are also acceptable answers.

  3. On a Face-Off, the first response given is the one that counts. If a player gives more than one piece of information, the moderator will evaluate the first answer only.

  4. Unless otherwise stated in the question, players may use abbreviated answers, such as last names only, acronyms, etc. However, unless specifically requested, chemical symbols are not acceptable for element names, and numbers in astronomical catalogs are not acceptable for the names of astronomical objects.

    When a part of an answer is given in the question: If it is a full word, players may omit the word when answering. If the word must be repeated, there will be a prompt for the partial answer. If it is a partial word (such as a prefix or suffix), players must give the entire word when answering.

  5. For all married women, the form of her husband’s name is not acceptable. “Mrs. Barack Obama” would not be an acceptable answer for Michelle Obama.

  6. In questions dealing with performing artists, only the professional name of the artist is acceptable, unless specifically called for in the question. “O’Shea Jackson” would not be an acceptable answer for “Ice Cube.”

  7. Proper names, quotations and titles must be exact. Neither “Sonnets In the Portuguese” nor “Sonnet From the Portuguese” are acceptable for “Sonnets From the Portuguese,” for example. However, leading articles may be omitted and we will accept “Scarlet Letter” for “The Scarlet Letter.”

  8. When the question has a list of choices for answers, the player must give the specific answer from the list provided. Answers like “the third one”, “the last one” or alternate forms of the answers provided are not acceptable. Simple plural forms of an answer will be accepted unless the category specifies required letters (e.g. “ends in x-y-z”).

  9. If the moderator's question screen includes the word “Prompt” as a note below the answer, the moderator may ask the player for “more specific information” to determine if an answer was correct.  A moderator may only prompt once per question.  For example, if the player answers “Jackson,” the moderator may ask for more information, to elicit “Marlon” or “Randy.” A moderator may ask a player to spell a response to determine if s/he was correct on phonetically similar answers, i.e. “Manet” or “Monet.”

  10. If a player spells an answer to a question which does not ask for spelling, it will be considered correct, as long as s/he spells the answer correctly.

Correcting Moderator Errors

  1. If the moderator inadvertently gives an answer to a Face-Off question without giving either team a chance to respond, the moderator simply reads the next Face-Off in the same category.

  2. If the moderator gives the answer to a Face-Off after one player has answered incorrectly, without giving the second player the chance to respond, the moderator reads the next Face-Off in the same category for the second player only.

  3. If inadvertently gives an answer to a Bonus, the moderator uses the next Face-Off/Bonus pair in the same category. The moderator reads the Face-Off, gives the team the answer, then reads the new bonus.


  4. If someone in the audience shouts out an answer, the moderator throws out the question and reads the next Face-Off or Face-Off/Bonus pair in the same category.

  5. If, however, all questions in a category have been used, the moderator will select a replacement from the remaining questions available in the round.

Playing the Ultimate Challenge

  1. In the Ultimate Challenge, each team has 60 seconds to answer 10 questions, worth 25 points each.

  2. The team that’s behind goes first. If there’s a tie score at the end of the first three rounds, a coin toss determines which team will play first.

  3. There are four categories from which to choose. When it’s a team’s turn to play, the players confer and select the category. Once a category is selected it is no longer available.

  4. The questions are read rapid-fire one after the other. Team members may confer on answers. Any team member may call out an answer. The first answer heard by the moderator is the one that will be accepted.

  5. The moderator will acknowledge if an answer was correct or incorrect.

  6. Any member of the team may “pass” on any question if they do not have or know the answer. If a team says "pass" the moderator will go to the next question.

  7. As long as there is time remaining, teams can keep coming back to questions which they missed or on which they passed.

  8. If a team answers all 10 questions correctly it scores 250 points.

  9. Regardless of score, both teams always play the Ultimate Challenge.

  10. The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the Ultimate Challenge wins the game.

Player Eligibility & Substitution

  1. The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team consists of four players (three players are selected to play in any one game).

  2. Teams may substitute freely between games, but may not substitute during a game, except in the case of incapacitating illness or injury.

  3. Only undergraduate students who have never received an undergraduate or bachelor's degree are eligible to compete. Students must be registered at the university and must be full-time students. Schools may add additional eligibility requirements.


  4. Students must be full-time as defined by the university. Registrar verification that a lower second-term course load completes all degree requirements is acceptable in lieu of the term credit requirement.

  5. Each member of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team must be registered in school for the semester or term during which the National Championship Tournament is conducted in order to be eligible to compete.

  6. All players are limited to four years of Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament attendance/play, regardless of institutional affiliation.

  7. A player whose conduct is unsportsmanlike or who disrupts game play will be warned once. This warning is in effect for the duration of the competition.  A second violation will result in the player’s ejection from the match in progress. The team may substitute this player at the end of a round. An ejected player may return in subsequent matches; however, a third violation will result in a player’s expulsion from the competition. This pertains to conduct of the entire team (including the coach and institutional representatives) during the entire tournament (including at the hotel, etc.). Warnings may be issued by any tournament official.

Resolving Game Discrepancies

  1. The game officials have ultimate authority in all matters during the campus competition. For intercollegiate tournaments, the ultimate authority is with the tournament director. Their decisions are final.

  2. Every attempt will be made to rectify procedural discrepancies (discrepancies concerning the implementation of the game rules and procedures) quickly and fairly.  During the games, the game officials will talk to each team and coach, one team at a time. They will decide if the discrepancy is valid and any adjustments to be made. Game officials may elect to consult with tournament staff outside the room in adjudicating procedural discrepancies, but they are not required to do so.  Their decisions are final.

  3. Factual discrepancies (discrepancies involving the game questions and answers) always go to the tournament director (or his/her designee) outside the game room. S/he will then decide if the discrepancy is valid and determine adjustments to the score and whether opportunities to answer alternate questions should be awarded. Their decisions are final.

  4. At the end of each round, the game officials should review the round among themselves to ensure that no errors were made. They should also approach each team and ask if they have any questions.

  5. If a player or coach feels an error has been made, s/he must wait until the end of the round to bring this to the attention of the game officials.

  6. The game officials will review the discrepancy and adjust the point totals in accordance with their decision. The outcome of the review and resultant score changes will be announced before the start of the next round.

  7. The only points in question are those points awarded or not awarded in error.  Intangible issues like momentum are not considered.

  8. In most cases, discrepancies will be resolved by the addition or subtraction of points and/or the playing of additional questions without the clock. Replaying a round or game will only occur in extreme situations, such as one plagued by numerous discrepancies, poor officiating or equipment malfunctions.

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